President William Ruto has emphasized his administration’s stance against grazing or farming activities within forests, citing concerns about the potential destruction of these vital ecosystems.

Speaking in Chepseon market in Kericho, President Ruto highlighted the risks associated with such practices, particularly in light of climate change and environmental degradation.

Ruto asserted that the Kenya Kwanza administration is committed to preventing further harm to the environment and ensuring the preservation of forests for future generations.

Despite pleas from residents to graze their animals in the forests, President Ruto firmly rejected the idea, expressing concern over reports of individuals carrying axes while grazing.

He questioned the necessity of grazing in forests and condemned the simultaneous cutting down of trees, stating unequivocally that such actions would not be tolerated.

The issue of farming within forests has been contentious in Kenya, with periodic attempts to implement schemes such as the Shamba System, aimed at balancing agricultural production with forest conservation.

The Shamba System, initially established by the British colonial administration in 1910, allowed local communities to farm on forest land in exchange for maintaining and harvesting trees for timber.

However, due to misuse and environmental concerns, including unsustainable tree felling, the system has faced multiple bans and reintroductions over the years.

Former President Uhuru Kenyatta outlawed the Plantation Establishment and Livelihood Improvement Scheme (PELIS) in January 2021, citing environmental degradation and unsustainable practices.

President Ruto’s firm stance reflects the government’s commitment to addressing environmental challenges and safeguarding Kenya’s forests from further degradation.

Leave a Reply